Biology Department photograph montage

Jaime Chaves

Professor jaimechaves
Assistant Professor
UCLA (Ph.D), San Francisco State University (M.S.), Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (B.S.)
At SFSU Since: 
Evolution, Phylogenetics, Phylogeography, Ornithology, Galápagos, Darwin's finches

A central focus of my research investigates how biodiversity is generated and maintained in the Neotropics with a special emphasis on understanding the link between molecules and phenotype. Combining molecular genetics and field biology, I explore evolutionary questions at the levels of populations (speciation-in-action), species (phylogeography and systematics), and apply these data to conservation efforts (conservation genetics).

Several aspects of my research combine specimen-based research and my projects are based on international multidisciplinary collaborations involving local students and communities.



SELECTED PUBLICATIONS                                                                                                          


2019    Song S.J., Sanders J.G., Baldassarre D., Chaves J.A., Johnson N.S., Antoinette J., Stuckey M.J., Novokova E., Metcalf J.L., Chomel B.B., Aguilar-Setien A., Knight R., McKenzie V.J. Is there convergence of gut microbes in blood-feeding vertebrates? Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.

2019    Knutie, S.A., J.A. Chaves, K.M. Gotanda. Human activity can influence the gut microbiota of Darwin’s finches in the Galapagos Islands. Molecular Ecology DOI: 10.1111/mec.15088

2018    De León L.F., Sharpe D.M.T., Gotanda K., Raeymaekers J.A.M., Chaves J.A., Hendry A.P., Podos J. Urbanization erodes niche segregation in Darwin's finches. Evolutionary Applications

2018    Michel A.J., Ward L.M., Goffredi S.K., Dawson K., Baldassarre D.T., Brenner A, Gotanda K.M., McCormack J.E., Mullin S., O’Neill A., Tender G., Uy J.A.C., Yu K., Orphan V.J., Chaves J.A. The gut of the finch: uniqueness of the gut microbiome of the Galápagos vampire finch. Microbiome 6:167.

2016(Cover)    Chaves J.A., Cooper E.A., Hendry A.P., Podos J., De León L.F., Raeymaekers J.A.M., McMillan O.W., Uy J.A.C. Genomic variation at the tips of the adaptive radiation of Darwin’s finches. Molecular Ecology 25:5282-5295.


2019    Uy J.A.C., Cooper E.A., Chaves J.A. Convergent melanism in populations of a Solomon Island flycatcher is mediated by unique genetic mechanisms. Emu-Austral Ornithology doi:10.1080/01584197.2019.1586446

2017    Chaves J.A., Peña M., Valdés-Uribe J.A, Muñoz-Pérez J.P., Felipe Vallejo, Maike Heidemeyer, Omar Torres-Carvajal. Connectivity, population genetics and conservation of Ecuadorian sea turtles. Endangered Species Research 32:251-264.

2016    Torres-Carvajal O., Rodriguez A., Chaves J.A. Present diversity of Galápagos leaf-toed geckos (Phyllodactylidae: Phyllodactylus) stems from three independent colonization events. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 103:1-5.

2013    Chaves J.A., Hidalgo J.R., Klicka J. Biogeography and evolutionary history of the Neotropical avian genus Saltator (Aves: Thraupini). Journal of Biogeography 40:2180-2190.

2012 (Cover)    Chaves J.A., Parker P.G., Smith T.B. Origin and population history of a recent colonizer, the yellow warbler in the Galápagos and Cocos Islands. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 25:509-521.

2011    Chaves J.A., Weir J.T, Smith T.B. Diversification in Adelomyia hummingbirds follows Andean uplift. Molecular Ecology 20:4564-4576.

2011    Chaves J.A., Smith T.B. Evolutionary patterns of diversification in the Andean hummingbird genus Adelomyia. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 60:207-218.

2007    Chaves, J.A., Pollinger J.P, Smith T.B., LeBuhn G. The role of geography and ecology in shaping the phylogeography of the Speckled Hummingbird (Adelomyia melanogenys) in Ecuador. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 43:795-807.